We’re in a period of the football calendar that’s filled with hindsight, as preparing for free agency and the draft means looking back on the failures of signings and draft selections. Often the comments made by general managers and players at the time of those doomed signings and picks seem foolish now, since hindsight is a breeding ground for absurdity.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t still look back and laugh heartily at a player who was given Dan Snyder’s treasure chest, and then in return handed him a box filled with broken dreams.
It’s been about 24 hours since Albert Haynesworth was released by the Bucs, almost exactly three years after he said this…
“You’re not going to remember Albert Haynesworth as a bust”
He said that piece of comedic gold while standing at the podium during his introductory press conference in Washington after he signed a contract worth $100 million over seven years with $41 million in guaranteed money, a record at the time.
The laughs from Haynesworth’s press conference stand-up routine didn’t stop there.
“My goal is to be the best player on the field and to eventually get to that Hall of Fame status and be mentioned with Reggie White and Bruce Smith and all the greats.”
Haynesworth has done more than just implode on the field with his three sacks over the past two years after 14.5 between 2007 and 2008. He also allegedly fondled a waitress, and decided that the open road was a fine place for a punch up before finally departing from Washington last July.
But you know all that, and it’s still quite fresh in your memory of Haynesworth’s colossal failings. What might not be as fresh, though, are both the press conference quotes, and a more recent quote from just over a month ago when he deflected blame from his own petulance and laziness.
Earlier this morning Hogs Haven reminded us of what’s now become Haynesworth’s exit interview with the Buccaneers, and while speaking with the Tampa Bay Times he pinned the reason for his poor season on a tumultuous offseason that created a distraction:
“It was just me not having a good offseason, worrying about whether I was going back to the Redskins, all that stuff.”
His supreme apathy shines through again, and Haynesworth’s shoulder shrug towards a 2011 season in which he barely played is a stark contrast to the quotes above where he promises greatness, and has the confidence to put his name in the same sentence as White and Smith, two legendary defensive linemen.
There are middle and low tier free agents left to twist and turn every offseason, not knowing where they’ll be employed, or if they’ll be employed. But they work and grind, hoping to impress someone and earn a roster spot, or even just a placement on the practice squad.
Yet after selling us lies and delusions of grandeur three years ago, a squabble he created supposedly sucked the life out of Haynesworth last offseason.
Now we’ll always remember Albert Haynesworth for what he truly is: a bust.